Attoyac Bayou Watershed Protection Plan
L. Gregory, N. Boitnott, A. Castilaw
The Attoyac Bayou is a rural East Texas water body that drains a watershed that encompasses many East Texas mainstays: agricultural, natural resource production in the form of forest products, oil and gas, abundant wildlife and the rural residents that call it home. Though practices have changed over time, agriculture and forestry remain dominant in the watershed although oil and natural gas production has certainly arisen in the watershed as a significant economic driver. The Attoyac Bayou provides critical water resources to many users, especially wildlife, livestock and humans and ultimately drains into Sam Rayburn Reservoir, one of the state’s largest impoundments.
Assessment and monitoring information was then paired with a stakeholder process in which information was provided to local watershed stakeholders and was used to guide the WPP development process. Ultimately, stakeholders’ decisions and input regarding needed management and tools to mitigate bacteria loadings and, in time, restore water quality, resulted in the development of this WPP. By comprehensively considering the multitude of potential pollutant sources in the watershed, this plan describes recommended management strategies that, when implemented, will reduce pollutant loading in the most cost-effective manner available at the time of planning. This plan is the culmination of more than three years of intensive assessment, evaluation and planning and presents a logical and judicious approach to restore water quality in the Attoyac Bayou and improve the overall health and function of its watershed. Despite the extensive amounts of information that went into the development of this WPP, a better understanding of the watershed and effectiveness of protective or mitigating actions will undoubtedly develop as the plan is implemented and water quality response is evaluated. As such, this WPP is a living document that will evolve as needed through the adaptive management process.